Employees Texting In The Workplace: Some Practical Tips

By Brian J. Lamoureux January 14, 2020Employment Law

Fake news. Fake videos. Deep fakes. We have all heard stories of people photoshopping or faking photos to make others look bad or create a scandal. However, an equally disturbing trend is emerging: fake text messages. There are numerous sites and apps available to create fake (but very real-looking) text messages. These tools allow you to customize the carrier name, battery percentage, wi-fi, timestamp, and other aspects of the message to make it look as real.

To paraphrase a familiar saying, a fake text message can go halfway around the world before the truth gets its boots on. Therefore, employers should understand that, given the ease with which text messages can be faked, they must proceed cautiously and thoughtfully when dealing with workplace issues that involve text messages. For example, if someone is accused of harassing another employee via text message, an employer should keep in mind that the text message might have been faked, so further questioning and follow-up of the sender and recipient will be needed to ensure that an adequate investigation takes place. Another issue that could arise is someone seeks revenge on another employee and circulates a fake text message to get the other employee disciplined or fired. This new technology creates an additional hurdle that employers must overcome when managing their workplaces and investigating employee misconduct. For more information on social and digital media issues in the workplace or other employment and business law matters, please contact PLDO Partner Brian J. Lamoureux at 401-824-5100 or email bjl@pldolaw.com.


Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. This blog is not legal advice and you should not use or rely on it as such. By reading this blog or our website, no attorney-client relationship is created. We do not provide legal advice to anyone except clients of the firm who have formally engaged us in writing to do so. This blog post may be considered attorney advertising in certain jurisdictions. The jurisdictions in which we practice license lawyers in the general practice of law, but do not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.

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Brian J. Lamoureux is a Partner with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O'Gara LLC and a member of the Employment Law, Cyber Law, Litigation and Corporate & Business Teams. He is also Practitioner Faculty in Management (Business Law) at Providence College, his alma mater.

His extensive practice areas include complex commercial litigation, employment law, construction law, social media law, and creditors' rights. In addition to being an accomplished business litigator, he has developed into a nationally-recognized voice on cutting-edge legal issues relating to social media. He is a frequent presenter, published author, and broadcast commentator on the topic and regularly appears on WPRI-TV, NBC10 and NECN-TV, the nation's largest 24-hour regional news network. His recent newspaper columns and articles include Social Media Privacy Law Impacts EmployersShould Employees Use Facebook at Work?Privacy Rights Being Tested in the Digital AgeDigital Age Hiring Process Filled With DangerTexting in the Workplace? Dangers Abound, Email Privacy Not a Guarantee in Workplace, and Worry About Workplace Prejudice? Clean Up. Mr. Lamoureux's work has also been published in the Providence Business News and Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly.

He successfully briefed and argued before the First Circuit Court of Appeals in a case confirming surety's rights to indemnification. He was lead counsel in a successfully resolved certified class action regarding the demutualization of an insurance company before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Rhode Island, and served as trial co-counsel in one of the largest defense jury verdicts in the Federal District Court in Massachusetts.

Mr. Lamoureux has been honored for his achievements by the Providence Business News and was selected as a member of its 2011 Class of "40 Under Forty."

He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from the Syracuse University College of Law, where he was a member of the Syracuse Law Review and Moot Court Honor Society. At the same time, he received a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He also holds a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island, where he was a teaching assistant in American Government and International Relations, and a B.A. in Political Science, cum laude, from Providence College.

Prior to joining PLDO, Mr. Lamoureux was a litigation partner in a large international AMLaw 200 firm. He is admitted to practice in state and federal courts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and is qualified to serve as a receiver in Rhode Island Superior Court. Mr. Lamoureux is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. To reach Attorney Lamoureux, please call 401-824-5100 or email bjl@pldolaw.com.

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